3) Sexy Teenaged Frankensteins In Love
Generally the sexy monster in these stories needs to be a mysterious outsider. You can’t have the hero or heroine come in knowing that their lab partner is a vampire. But the Frankenstein story isn’t going to work that way. When Shelley was writing, the idea of life created by man rather than by god was existentially horrific in its own right, but this no longer packs quite the same punch. And although the traditional Frankenstein monster is also loathsome to the eye, the paranormal romance version of the monster is going to need to be totally hot. Which means that rather than chasing it with pitchforks, the villagers are going to be doodling hearts around its name in their marble notebooks. For most people, there will be no difference between the monster and a regular dreamboat. This means that you’re going to have to pair the monster up with someone who knows that it’s a monster, which basically means pairing it up with its creator. Dr. Frankenstein (or rather, AP Chemistry student Frankenstein, I guess), can’t find the perfect prom date, she builds him, and it writes itself from there. This one would probably end up having a much more traditional be-careful-what-you-wish-for moral, rather than ending with the kind of wish fulfillment that paranormal romance thrives on. But hey, maybe not. After all, prior to Twilight, vampire stories that traded that heavily on wish fulfillment usually weren’t found outside of fan fiction.
Step 1: Frankenstein Monster.
Step 2: Hawt monster. (And also hawt Dr. Frankenstein — but probably not immediately identifiable as such. If he’s a guy, he wears glasses. If a girl, she has a severe and unflattering hairstyle.)
Step 3: Although I don’t think that people are as creeped out these days by the very idea of artificial life, there are still some weird anxieties about the proper relationship of the artificially created life form to its creator (c.f. I Robot, Splice, that one robot that beat all those people at Jeopardy, etc).
Step 4: Reversing this is really tricky, because you need to make the claim that the relationship of the creation and the creator is NOT problematic — that it is, in fact, the greatest romance the world has ever known. And that’s a hard sell. But hey, no one ever said writing the next paranormal romance blockbuster would be easy! (Except for me. I totally did say exactly that just a couple of pages ago.)
Step 5: One of the big important ideas that we’ve all internalized about romance is that it’s supposed to be a two way street. The guy provides what the girl needs, and the girl provides what the guy needs too. A situation where one of the partners never asks for or needs anything is not an ideal romantic situation: we all want to be needed, not just to need. So I think that’s the way you need to spin it. The doctor character realizes early on that the monster is her ideal partner, but she can’t quite embrace the situation until she realizes, somewhere around the end of the third act, that she herself is also the monster’s ideal partner. This would make for some excellent wish fulfillment, because I don’t think most people are quite comfortable with imagining themselves as anyone else’s idea of perfection.
Already kind of exists, because:
If you’re thinking that you’ve seen the whole “build your own prom date plot” before, it’s because you have, more or less, in Weird Science. And, like, two different episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, at least. And arguably My Fair Lady, sort of. It’s durable.
Bonus fact: This scenario would be an Oedipal nightmare of epic proportions.